Gaza death toll surges as Israeli airstrikes continue to rain down

Gaza death toll surges as Israeli airstrikes continue to rain down

Health Ministry says airstrikes killed 1,055 people, wounded 5,184 others

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has risen to 1,055 as the Israeli army struck hundreds of targets in the densely-populated strip's residential and commercial neighborhoods, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

A ministry statement said the Israeli attacks also injured 5,184 people.

The Israeli death toll has climbed to 1,200 people.

In a dramatic escalation of Mideast tensions, Israeli forces have launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories. The conflict began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air, which Hamas said was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

In response to Hamas' actions, the Israeli military launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip. Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

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